Success and failure depends on your outlook. As a competitive athlete, there is a fine line between between both and you need both to learn. I can use the same analogies as a nutrition coach as we work on changing eating habits, you need some practice (maybe a lot) to get the hang of it. You have successes. You have failures. How we still find fun in either is really the important part. Success and failure almost goes hand in hand.
I was recently at a dragon boat race. Take a bunch of women business owners, put them together into a dragon boat. Then send them off to race as most are really unaware of how it really works. With 2 practices, we have the challenge of getting 20 people to paddle in rhythm. Sometimes it worked and we were are successful, other times, not so much. And you feel like a failure.
I learned many lessons about success and failure. About myself and working with others. This is an event to promote camaraderie and forget about my own competitiveness. But we are also a boat of business owners! Not competitive athletes but competitive nonetheless. We wanted to succeed. We wanted to get this.
My personal challenge was to overlook my natural athletic ability where others were not with that same innate athletic ability. Most were coordinated and understood the mechanics of paddling. Some would have benefitted from more practice and more guidance. I now saw my role was to help others be as good as they could be. I had done it before as a captain of a softball team back in college where my intramural team was by far not the athletes like the team we consistently lost to in the finals. But with some practice and some wild synchronicity, we on that day of the finals managed to be unstoppable. Was it our ability? not anything innately, but there was something about that day where we just were all in sync and nothing was going to keep us from winning. Even against the team which had beaten us the prior years.
Today we had 3 races. Other teams had been practicing all summer, some had 3 practices a week and had been together for 3 or more years. We had barely 2 practices and were all just happy to be there. Trying to figure it out as we went. The first race was a test. Our third time in a dragon boat. We came in last in our heats, and when we finished, we analyzed what we had done and figured out a plan over the next few hours of how to make this second race better. I was moved to the 5th position and was given the role of yelling out ‘elbows high’ to help us keep our form. When we were in form, we paddled well. When we were not in form, we paddled erratically. Others chanted ‘hit’ so they could all paddle in sync. It definitely worked! Although we were all disappointed that our time did not reflect this better synchronization we had found. We learned a few other things to do as well to make the last race our best. We took our failure from the first race and turned them into successes in the 2nd race.
When I work with my nutrition clients, I ask them about their successes, and I ask them about their failures and challenges. We learn from the failures and how to plan meals better, combine meals better and how to modify the failures into successes. When you are not eating right for your own body, your body is out of sync and it is not working right. It may cause sluggishness, fatigue, flatulence or constipation or digestive issues or brain fog.
That last race was not the success we had anticipated. We forgot to have our little pep talks, we forgot to review form, and somehow we were just unable to be synchronized. We were not focused in that last race as we had been in the second one. We learned that success or failure is irrelevant, and fun is what we all had. And we really did. We brought 20 women together who had never done anything like this before and we did create a team. We all did something we had never done before.
Just like I work with my clients. You have successes and failures. The trick is what you do with the information so you don’t bomb the next time and have your body out of sync with your eating. I help you put the pieces together so you learn how to choose better more often. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but your eating has to be in sync with your schedule and with your body.
I wish we had one more race as then we could have put it all together better. Maybe we needed more practice and focusing on form and the basics. We had success and failure today. And we made close connections with all members. And we succeeded at having fun through it all. Will we do this again? I don’t know. But if we do, we will be able to learn from our success and failure as that is just a part of life.